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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Enraged: Animal Abuse Video

Agriculturists are enraged when a video documenting animal abuse is released. We are enraged because of two main reasons:
  1. It's NOT OKAY to treat animals that way.
  2. It's NOT representative of our industry.
The recent Mercy For Animals video disappoints me even more because I know the hard work dairy ranchers across the US have signed on for. The dairy business is one that has to be taken care of EVERY SINGLE day. There is no day off from milking, so if equipment breaks or weather gets bad, you can bet that the dairy man is out there working to make sure his cows are getting milked and cared for. Family get-together planned? Doesn't matter. National holiday? Not on a dairy farm.

Another reason for disappointment is that Mercy For Animals had evidence of animal abuse for almost a month and is just now making it public. If true care for animals was the intention of finding the evidence, I would've turned it over to officials immediately because animal abuse is not okay.

This is a great blogger who has more experience in the dairy industry. I encourage you to check out her response to the video:

Also, I felt it important to comment on several news stories that covered the video. This is my response on the Examiner:

This video is nothing short of enraging. As a rancher from Kansas, I am disgusted. I also want people to know that this is NOT THE NORM in the livestock industry. People who choose to make a living raising animals for food love the life they have and respect the animals they care for because it is their livlihood - food on the family's table. Dairy ranchers, more specifically, have signed on for a 365-24-7 kind of job. Dairy cows must be milked every single day, regardless of the family get-together planned or the winter storm coming on. Dairy ranchers are dedicated to the welfare of the animals they raise and there are many great examples of the kind of true welfare standards that exist in the industry that brings your family milk, cheese and ice cream is availible on these websites:

I am dissapointed in the fact the MFA had evidence of animal abuse occuring on a farm in form of this video for almost a month before turning it into the authorities. Animal abuse is not supported and should be prosecuted. The employees depicted in this video do not deserve the honor of working with food animals.

I don't treat animals this way and I don't know any rancher who does. Please don't let one bad apple represent the bushel.


Tera Rooney
I think it is important to respond to articles on the internet because I don't believe the video is a good representation of our industry. I encourage you to do so as well with your opinions.

My Best,



  1. You are being insincere when you are mad at MFA because they took a month to release the video - you know that to even be taken seriously by law enforcement that they have to show a pattern of abuse - not just one or two days of torture but weeks - in the past factory farm operations have said that these instances were a blip, not common - so the poor brave soul who gets a job at these farms has to witness this insanity over and over -
    you could solve the problem yourselves by you farmers getting laws passed nationwide requiring video cameras on all animal farms - when people think they are not being video taped - these workers take out there life's frustrations on these creature...

    In the past 10 years I have seen hundreds of videos filmed on family sized to factory farm size showing unbelieable amounts of cruelty - we eat 10 billion animals a year in America - that's a lot of animal abuse. Install cameras - after tax payers subsidize animal agriculture to the tune of 100's of millions every year - I think we the public should be able to demand that you install cameras.

  2. Andrew,

    I appreciate that you take the time to read our blog. Only when we foster such conversation between both sides can we begin to come to some sort of common ground. I like the dialogue, respect other opinions, and hope that you have an appreciation for these things as well.

    I do give the benefit of the doubt to most people being criticized on his/her actions caught on video. With editing abilities these days, almost anything can appear to come across in a negative manner when that may not be how it actually occurred. With that said, I do not condone what was seen in the MFA video mentioned in this blog post.

    I think agriculture subsidies are largely misunderstood, but then again I am pro ag. I doubt either of us would come to an agreement on that. Get rid of them, I think that would be okay, but then the government should not have regulatory power over what we can grow, where and how on the land that we own as free citizens.

    There's a dichotomous argument that exists between the ability to produce enough food for the world's population while still maintaining that production at an affordable price to consumers and the environment. If you have the golden answers on how to accomplish this, because that is what it all comes down to, please share. I would be enthused because that is what we (agriculture in general) are in the business to do - feed people, and what a noble cause!

    I'm proud of the industry my family has been involved in for over a hundred years. It hurts when one person's bad actions become representative of the entire industry. Not all parents are abusive, yet when you hear of such cases it rarely is viewed as a blanket opinion of all people who have children - and it surely doesn't affect the way they make a living!

    I apologize for not catching your comment sooner. I ran across it today and responded immediately. Again, I appreciate you reading the blog and creating dialogue. That is something that is good for all of us.


    Tera Rooney



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